collecta-belle general discussion

Kindred Spirits

There are few things that give me as much pleasure as meeting kindred classic film-loving spirits. And I don’t just mean classic films in general (although, don’t get me wrong, that’s always amazing!), I mean people who share my enthusiasm for Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier specifically. I love blogging and maintaining this website because I’ve “met” a lot of really awesome people with whom I can talk about these things via email, facebook, twitter, etc. But the number of people I’ve met outside of the internet who really get it can be counted on one hand. Most people just can’t be bothered, and because I know this, a lot of times I feel shy or nervous about talking about it for fear of being laughed at or dismissed as a “crazy fan”. Yes, this is technically considered “fandom” and I know it’s looked down upon, at least within the film studies community (although, that’s not always the case, as I discovered after a chat with one of my film tutors last semester). But sometimes I tell myself, “Hey, at least I’m passionate about it, and I take it seriously while still having fun with it. Isn’t that all that matters?” I think that is all that matters.

Something extraordinary happened this week: I met not one, but two fellow fans right here in London!

Yesterday I had coffee near Holborn with Sameera, a lovely British girl who is working on her own epic project about Vivien Leigh. She got in touch with me via, we met over skinny lattes and ended up chatting about all things Larry and Vivien for hours! It was fabulous. I can’t wait to see the awesome things she’s cooking up!

Last Sunday, I met up with another fan of the site. Lena B., a gorgeous lady from Sweden has been sharing photos from her Vivien Leigh collection with the site since it launched back in 2007. You’ve probably seen them in the gallery! She was in London on holiday and we met in Covent Garden and had a lovely discussion about Larry and Vivien over croissants and coffee at Paul, my favorite  patisserie. Lena had an amazing gift for me: pretty much her entire collection of vintage Vivien Leigh magazines!

Can you believe it?! Seriously, how nice is that? I am still a bit overwhelmed by her generosity. I am not worthy! Lena thought I probably had most of them, but it turns out that I didn’t, and I didn’t even know some of them existed! I do already own some, so it’s likely you may see a few of these lovely publications pop up as contest prizes here on! They are definitely in good hands, and will be extremely useful for my dissertation, which I’m starting on as soon as I finish my current school assignments (which I would be more enthusiastic about if I wasn’t home sick with whatever nasty virus is going around right now). Thanks a million for being so kind, Lena!

It warms my heart that there are people who admire Larry and Vivien as much as I do, and who are eager to help spread the love! I am getting really excited about the meet up next month! I’m really curious to know: have you met other fans (of Larry or Vivien, Gone with the Wind, etc.) in real life? If so, where and what was it like? Tell us about it!

Kendra has been the weblady at since 2007. She lives in Yorkshire and is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, and co-author of Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies (Running Press). Follow her on Twitter @kendrajbean, Instagram at @vivandlarrygram, or at her official website.

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Comments (19)

    1. That was epic. Remember drinks at Musso & Frank’s? I can’t remember any of the specific stories the waiter old us, but I feel certain they were awesome.

      1. I do! So much fun. I just remember Johnny Depp being a good tipper, and him telling us who was nice. Not any juicy stories. Actually just kidding I think we DID get into a ‘who’s hiding their sexuality’ realm.

  1. I hope you get well soon! 🙂

    That’s so awesome of Lena. Cheers to her for her kindness and generosity!

    As for your interest in Vivien and Larry, I totally get it because both of them are interesting people, individually and as a couple. There’s enough information on either of them to get people interested, but also enough intrigue and mysteriousness to keep them interested. Their importance in acting, directing, and stage/theatre is immeasurable.

    Also, you’re doing an amazing job channeling your fandom into something great, which is this website, and I’m sure you’ve introduced many people to one of the most fascinating couplings in history. Your site is a great resource for anyone who loves history, acting, film, photography, character studies (that post you did on mental illness a couple of days ago is really amazing), etc. Pretty much, this site is a treasure trove of awesome sauce.

    I understand that there is a relatively thin line between passion and obsession; the difference being that obsession tends to lack rationality. Yours fall squarely into passion — passion matched with rationality, depth, and self-awareness. So don’t let anyone make you feel bad for your passion for Viv and Larry. If anyone bothers you, I’ll bitch slap them for you.

    1. Thanks so much for the lovely comment, Bridget! I’m glad you share in the enthusiasm for Larry and Vivien, and that the site has been educational and informative! There really is so much about them that is interesting, and various aspects that can be related to other things that I find fascinating, as well!

      You’re awesome sauce!

  2. Wow that is SO lovely of Lena! What an amazing person, and so thoughtful! I had such a lovely day with you yesterday. Very glad that there will definitely be many more to come… starting Tuesday 🙂 Your passion is utterly understandable and very admired, and I am so so glad to have found someone as passionate about the two of them as I am! Many exciting things on their way for you as well! All my love, sami x

    1. Yeah, it was definitely generous of her! Bless. I’m really glad we met up, as well, and am looking forward to what should be an interesting event on Tuesday. Thanks for being so understanding and for sharing the passion, it’s so great to meet other people who get it!

  3. Hi Kendra wow that’s amazing! That was very nice of her.

    As a matter of fact I have. It took place during my first semester here at school. My friend David introduced me to two girls. I asked them what was there favorite movie of all time. Just to get the ball rolling and all. They both were like Gone with the Wind. I was like no way! We talked for a good three to four hours. Poor David just sat there and took it all lol. It was amazing to find not just one, but two people that loved GWTW, classic movies and Vivien and Laurence just as much as you do. In fact me and my friend Becca (which was one of the girls David introduced me to. The others girl name is Katerina.) were at Gateway to the Wind this past Nov. I just love talking to her and my other Windie and other Olivier fans. It makes you feel right at home:) Thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. I’m so glad you’ve found fellow GWTW fans, Ashley (let alone ones who want to go to events with you!). That’s always so exciting, and it’s really fun to sit for hours chatting about things you really like! Good on you!

      1. I was so excited. David leaned over and was like told you you would like them. As I was reading your comment I remembered another friend of mine that also likes GWTW and Vivien and Larry. We were both in math class and she was like since we have so many classes together why don’t we give each other our cell phone numbers. I was like sure. Pulled out my phone opened it and handed it to her. She was like love the background (Rhett and Scarlett. The dressing scene. I’m getting ready to change it to Vivien and Larry really soon:) S I love that movie. I was like SWEET! We’ve planned to watch it here soon. After we watch GWTW I’m going to pull out some Vivien Leigh movies and Laurence Olivier movies. Classic Movie Night!

  4. Wow ..totally cool. There are some really generous people out there but it tells a lot about her opinion of you to trust them to you. It’s an amazing collection and you totally deserve them.

    You’re a wonderful soul Lena.

    My best friend and I shared a love of the same topics when I was around 14. We spent all out school lunch times talking about the books we had just read about the Oliviers and how we felt we were born in the wrong era.There was no internet back then so we had hardly any resources. Unfortunately her interest waned but mine grew.

    I also met some-one via a magazine once when she put an add asking for any memorabilia or info about the Aust/NZ tour. She sent me a first edition copy of GWTW for my wedding present.

    1. Aww, thanks, I’m happy to have received them!

      I’ve had friends like that, too. You have an interest in common but then it fades away . Thats life, I guess. How cool you met someone in Australia who is really into them. Do you still keep in contact?

  5. OMG… this is amazing!!!!!! what a wonderful gift… you shuld put all of them under a glass and hang them on a wall…. they are as beautiful as a painting!!!

  6. That’s soooo awesome! What a generous lady! I’ll admit…I’m pretty jealous. I loove old magazines and am in the process of collecting all/most of the LIFE magazines. lol

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